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SURGE Program

Information for Faculty

The Summer Undergraduate Research Group Experience (SURGE) is an eight-week summer research experience designed to engage freshmen and sophomore students in faculty-mentored research during the summer months.  This eight-week program features groups of up to eight students who are new to research,  who work on research projects led by one or two faculty mentors.  These projects offer students who are new to research, a collaborative, interdisciplinary research experience based around a central theme, problem or question.  Ideally, some of these projects will partner and/or collaborate with community organizations and businesses to generate additional support.

Faculty use the first week of the program as an academic orientation, the second week to help the students develop individual or team components of the larger project, and the remaining weeks carrying out the project.

**Due to the pandemic, we suggest that you have a plan to run your SURGE program in a virtual format if in-person is not possible.

Funding support includes:

  • faculty stipend of $3,000 each for up to two faculty members per project
  • $4,000 each for participating undergraduate students (up to 8 per grant)
  • Up to $3,000 for materials, supplies or travel (per grant)
  • Student housing on campus (if needed, and if available)
  • A student meal allowance of $75 per week

Project Requirements:

  • Team projects must be based around a central theme, question, or problem
  • Projects must be run by at least one faculty member who is tenured or tenure-track
  • A second faculty member may participate but must be from another discipline and the addition creates a multi-disciplinary project
  • Up to eight students per project
  • Faculty must agree to select at least half of the project participants from an applicant list provided by the Office of Undergraduate Research. This list includes students from the UT Lead program.  After the established deadline, faculty may recruit from other sources to fill the remaining spots

Preferred project Characteristics

  • Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary projects (with faculty from more than one department, school, or college)
  • Projects that have the potential to be extended into the school year for credit
  • Projects that serve as a pilot for project-based courses
  • Projects that serve as pilots for external funding
  • Projects that have a plan to recruit and include a diverse team of students: under-represented, variety of majors, novice as well as experienced
  • Projects that include collaboration with a community organization or business
  • Projects from under-represented disciplines
  • Projects designed for students new to research

Sample Schedule

  • Proposed dates are June 7 – July 30, 2021
  • Week 1: Orientation to the project, and skills/education intensive
  • Week 2: Formulation and writing research plans for individual projects within the team
  • Week 3: Skill Development, begin research project
  • Week 4-7: Project work
  • Week 8: Finalizing project, preparing posters

All participants are required to present their research at Discovery Day, UT’s fall celebration of research and creative achievement that was conducted over the summer

How to apply:

Submit your application through the online form, including the following proposal criteria:

To apply for the Summer CORE Grant, each team must include in a single PDF file the following elements:

  1. Project Description (200 Words)
  2. Narrative of no more than four pages that addresses the following questions:
    1. Overview of the central question and project
    2. Timeline (include the first week student project orientation)
    3. Student Recruitment Plan (How are you going to find and recruit student participants?)
    4. Uniqueness of Project
  3. Acknowledge that you have read and agree to the important additional considerations
  4. Budget
  5. Alternate plan in case of COVID-19 disruptions
  6. Position Description for the student researchers (to be posted on Explore or Handshake)

SURGE Program Important Dates:

11/30 Proposal Deadline

Mid January – Post-award info session

1/18 – 2/14 – Student hiring window

3/22 – Final list of students due to the Office of Undergraduate Research

Program Dates – June 7 – July 30

Approximately eight projects will be selected each summer.

The SURGE program is based on the George Mason University “Summer Impact Grant” Program  View sample projects from their program.